Building products is hard. Building products people want is even harder. But, that is what product and engineering leaders are tasked with every day.
To build a great product people want, you have to think. Hard. Really, really hard. And you have to think a lot. Most of your energy is spent thinking.
So let’s do something to make ourselves faster, better, and more innovative thinkers!
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“I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart…” - Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
Nobody’s that smart... we need to stand on the shoulders of giants, use what they figured out, and think from there. But standing on the shoulders of giants in our domain isn’t enough. To be a great problem solver and a great thinker, Munger suggests we need to know the big ideas from all major domains.
“You must know the big ideas in the big disciplines and use them routinely – all of them, not just a few. Most people are trained in one model – economics, for example – and try to solve all problems in one way. You know the old saying: To the man with a hammer, the world looks like a nail. This is a dumb way of handling problems.” - Charlie Munger [emphasis mine]
That is an intimidating task. So how do we learn “the best that other people have ever figured out” in “the big disciplines”? And once we know it, how do we use it? Enter mental models.
Using a latticework of mental models from all the great disciplines gives us the ability to start with the best thinking and see every problem from a different perspective.
This is the key to building great products. See what others don’t. Ask what others won’t. So you build what others can’t.
This is what Product Solving is all about. Using mental models in your day-to-day routines.
In this newsletter, you will explore a different mental model every Wednesday, right from your email inbox. You will find out how to apply each model, when it makes sense to use it, and why it will change the way you think.
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This newsletter will focus on how different mental models apply to building products, but having a latticework of mental models extends beyond work. I have found that a rich latticework of mental models extends into every area of life, making me more productive, more insightful, more engaged, and more knowledgeable.
I am looking forward to revealing how I have used mental models to build products and come up with ways to break outside the norm and be truly innovative.
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